Number of elderly, disabled facilities growing in Clovis

CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle Construction continues Thursday on the Wheatfields Senior Living Community on North Prince Street.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Clovis looks like prime real estate for developers hoping to build living facilities for senior citizens and the disabled.

Six housing development projects for the elderly and the disabled have either been proposed or are under construction, city officials said.

“There has been an increase for that particular type of development,” said city planning and zoning director Louis Gordon, “more so than what we’ve had in the past.”

Older Adults Division Director Vicki Miller said developers might be trying to provide for the Baby Boomer generation.

“There’s a lot of them that are retiring right now and, of course, in the future there’s going to be a lot more,” she said.

The 2000 Census reported 4,258 people 65 or older in Clovis.

There are currently at least five retirement and assisted-living facilities in Clovis, based on Web listings and phone directories.

A plan to convert the defunct Hotel Clovis into a facility with affordable housing for senior citizens was presented by Clovis MainStreet at last week’s Clovis City Commission meeting.

A Wheatfields Senior Living Community official said they are looking to open their doors to the elderly by September or October. The project will feature 64 assisted-living apartments, 10 retirement cottages and 24 Alzheimer’s accommodations with 24-hour nursing care.

The newest developer to buy property in the city has proposed to build an eco-friendly housing facility for the elderly.

Building Safety Director Pete Wilt said Tierra Realty Trust Inc., a Taos-based company, has proposed to build a 4.83-acre, 55-unit senior citizen facility along Mitchell and 14th streets that will use green technology.

Wilt said the firm’s proposed plan includes a 400-kilowatt wind turbine to power each housing unit.

Other Earth-friendly features include recycled cellulose insulation, recycled composite tile, solar-powered path lighting and a storm water collection system.

He said a start day for construction has not yet been revealed as the firm is working on funding the project.
Gordon said Eastern Plains Housing is constructing two facilities for the elderly and the disabled on Echols Street and Overland Park. Construction for the facility on Echols has started, he said.

Prairie Meadows administrator Marv Schultz said he is taking construction bids for a $7 million, 56-unit facility near Plains Regional Medical Center. Schultz is the former administrator of Retirement Ranch, and is overseeing the development of the assisted-living facility.

“The hospital has already agreed to lease us the land,” he said. “Once we’ve got everything in place as far as board approval on a cost with a contractor … it’ll be about a 12-month period for the contractor to have it all completed.”